Works For Me Wednesday is hosted by We Are THAT Family as an opportunity for bloggers to share the tips they’ve learned along the way with others. Be sure and stop by to peruse a plethora of tried and true tips.
We’ve just had the first wedding among our kids. That doesn’t make me an expert, but there are some things I observed along the way (not just at our wedding but at weddings in general over the years) that might be helpful:
For friends of the bride and groom:
1. The bride in particular is getting bombarded on every side with wedding advice and expectations on several fronts. Avoid saying, “You should…,” “You ought to…,” “Why don’t you….?” Sometimes sharing something really nice you’ve seen at another wedding can be shared simply that way, “At my cousin’s wedding they did this really neat thing where they…” The idea is out there, the bride can think about it or not as she sees fit, but she doesn’t feel pressured.
2. If you use a gift registry to buy a wedding gift, be sure to follow the instructions so that the store registers that particular gift as having been fulfilled.
3. Include a gift receipt in the card or with the gift if possible: most stores do provide them. Sometimes the registry still doesn’t “register” for various reasons, and duplicates do happen. A gift receipt makes it so much easier if the couple does have to return something.
4. If you order something online to be delivered to the bride or groom, be sure to indicate that it is a gift if there is a place to do so in the ordering process. Usually there will be a little space for you to type in a note if it is a gift. My son and daughter-in-law did receive a couple of gifts that way that they have no idea who sent them. You could also let them know ahead of time that a package is coming from you via whatever store to their home so that when it comes they’ll know it was from you. They sincerely do want to send thank yous for the generosity of their friends and loved ones.
5. Attach your card firmly to the gift you are taking to the wedding. Most wedding gifts aren’t opened at the reception: they are at least taken back to the bride or groom’s family’s home: they may even be taken across the country before being opened. The couple wants to get the right thank-you card to the right people, and, of course, the gift giver wants the right card on the right gift. So use a lot more tape than you think you need, or, better yet, put the card inside the gift and then wrap it.
6. I saw many ways that friends or church family helped out, ways that had never occurred to me before:
- Helping clean the bride’s family’s home before guests arrived.
- Bringing over food.
- Offering to house guests.
- Picking up out-of-town guests from the airport.
- Helping to set up, clean up, or serve not only for the wedding but for events before the wedding.
- Running errands.
- Bringing light snacks or something to drink for the rooms where the bride and bridesmaids or groom and groomsmen are getting ready before the wedding.
- Being available the hours before the wedding to get items, run messages, etc.
7. If you see any member of the bridal party dashing by before the wedding and you try to speak to them, please don’t be offended if they don’t stop at that moment to talk. There are a multitude of things that come up at the last minute that have to be taken care of. Most everyone relaxes a lot more and has more time after the wedding or at the reception.
For the bride and groom:
1. Do as much as you can ahead of time. Things have a way of snowballing at the end with unforeseen details, plus you want to have some time to just relax with guests if possible.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
3. It’s a good idea to check your registries every now and then in case some of the items have been discontinued since you made the registry. It’s frustrating to go to a store and print out a registry and start shopping only to find that half the registry isn’t available. You may not want to peek at it because you don’t want to see what people have bought yet: perhaps a friend or family member could keep an eye on it for you. And if you receive something from another source or change your color scheme in a room, etc., be sure to adjust your registry accordingly. It saves a lot of time in taking things back later.
4. Consider your guests. My son and daughter-in-law did a great job with this, and I commend another young couple in our church who scrambled the day of their wedding when the weather turned blisteringly hot to change the venue from outdoor to indoor. But one wedding we attended a few years ago was outdoors — in the South in August — and the bride or groom or family, I forget who, got upset that some of the older people stayed inside a nearby lake house to watch. As it was the wedding coordinator fainted and my youngest son got violently ill after running around in the heat.
5. Don’t fret if something goes wrong. There are probably very, very few events that go off absolutely perfectly. The little (or big) things that go wrong are what make for funny stories in years to come.
6. Keep prespective of what the day is all about: celebrating your union together. No matter what else happens or doesn’t happen, if that happens, the day is a success.